Chelsea are hopeful of beating Arsenal to the signing of Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, according to reports from The Express.

The Italian international has been heavily linked with a move away from the San Siro in recent time after falling down the pecking order at the club.

Despite having been one of Italy’s top talents, the 25-year-old has stagnated a little over the course of the last year, and is thought to be ready to move on in order to get his career back on track.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been alerted by the situation, and sees the 6ft. 5” defender as the ideal man to replace the erratic David Luiz – who has been linked with Barcelona and Bayern Munich of late.

A January move for Ranocchia is thought to be on the cards, with ‘The Special One’ keen to fend off interest from rival sides.

Tottenham, United and Arsenal have all been linked with the classy enforcer, and could launch winter raids for his services.

The towering centre-half may well be tempted by regular action at Stamford Bridge, with his hopes of making Italy’s national team ahead of the World Cup still alive.

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